During our "Great Beginnings" conference/course, we read Mrs. Spitzer's Garden by Edith Pattou, to teachers who were new to the Full-Day EarlyLearning-Kindergarten program. I discovered on Google Books that Edith originally wrote this book as a gift to her daughter's kindergarten teacher, "whose watchful, nurturing spirit reminded her of a gardener tending her garden."
In the story, the principal gives Mrs. Spitzer a packet of seeds at the end of the summer to plant a garden. Mrs. Spitzer consults with her tools, and creates the appropriate conditions for each seed to flourish. Some of the plants grow quickly, while others required gentle care.
Julie and I thought that it would be a positive way to begin our four days together, and shared the story with our participants. We also planted some Green Mung Beans that a parent had given us. These beans originate in Vietnam. Our hope, was that we could all learn and grow together, and that this "planting" ceremony of sorts would build our relationships. In addition, we intended to model a trusting and respectful classroom environment where everyone had the opportunity to flourish.
On our last day, I noticed that some of the beans began to sprout. When I got home it became more apparent, and have included photos of the plants from Saturday, Sunday, and today.
Even though we are no longer together, I can tell that we are all continuing to grow from the learning experiences we shared. Thank you for teaching us as much as we were (hopefully) able to teach you!
Wishing you all the best, and know that we continue to be just an email away to support you...